Astronomers, who enjoy looking at the Moon more than most, have discovered many steep sided appearing pits which may have caves or ledges which would be perfect locations for lunar bases in the future on the Moon. The scientists have been examining images sent back from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or LRO, and they have picked out over 200 holes that have sharp sides.
The majority of pits were discovered in regions of the Moon known as lunar marias. These are dark areas of congealed lava once thought to have been oceans. The pits range from 15 to 3000 feet across, so the holes, especially if they contain caves, might allow astronauts to have shelter from the consequences of space, especially meteorites and treacherous radiation storms.
Scientist Robert Wagner, who works at Arizona State University, and is the chief research lead author on a paper about the project, which is available in the most recent edition of the science journal Icarus, explained that pits could be useful in support roles for human activity on the Moon’s surface. If habitats were created in pits, preferably placed several dozen yards back from overhangs, they could deliver extremely safe locations for astronauts. There would be no temperature swings, no radiation, very little dust and no micro-meteorites hitting them.
Wagner created a computer algorithm that skimmed through high-resolution photographs taken by the LRO, which automatically picked out the pits. He proposed the lunar indentations were made when roofs of pre-existing tunnels or caves collapsed. They possibly happened after meteoroids crashed into the moon’s surface. could have been produced by straight meteor hits or by molten rock movement under the lunar surface, which surged away and left giant voids.
Wagner and his group want to send up probes to the moon in order to search around the pits. He stated that to follow-up, there should be probes dropped down into a couple of the pits. That way there can be really good looks at what is down there. Pits cannot be explored from orbit very well. The lower walls and floor levels simply are unable to be viewed from a decent angle in outer space. He added that his team is presently in the beginning phase of a mission idea to do exactly such with probes.
Wagner also stated that the caves might be used as preliminary moon bases before permanent structures were erected. Even though the moon‘s surface is tattered by millions of craters, the pits could definitely work in favor of the astronauts. Three of the holes were found by the Japanese Kaguya spacecraft while the rest were discovered by LRO.
Astronomers, who enjoy looking at the moon more than most, have discovered many steep sided appearing pits which may have caves or ledges which would be perfect locations for lunar bases in the future on the moon. Wagner hopes to create brand new missions to send probes in a couple of the pits in order to see what is down in the pits.
By Kimberly Ruble